The academic research institute, which will be hosted by Imperial College London, will investigate new ways of reducing computer software’s vulnerability to cyber threats.
It aims to provide businesses, individuals and government with extra confidence about the security of software installed on their networks.
Funded by a £4.5 million grant, it has been established by the government intelligence agency GCHQ in partnership with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
David Willetts, the universities and science minister, said: “This institute will build on the UK’s global reputation for cyber security research and innovation. It complements wider work government is doing in partnership with academia and industry to boost the economy through improved cyber security.”
Following a competitive process that involved devising new research projects to address key challenges in computer security, the universities selected to be part of the new institute are Imperial College, University College London, the University of Kent, the University of Manchester, the University of Edinburgh and Queen Mary, University of London.
Philippa Gardner, professor of theoretical computer science at Imperial College, will take the role of director of research for the institute.
“The creation of this research institute recognises the excellence of UK research in automated program analysis and verification. It provides an exciting opportunity to focus this research on cyber security,” she said.
The institute aims to open for business on 1 April for a period of 3 years. The first academic research institute in cyber security, based at UCL, opened in October last year.